Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beer event

The beer event was held at a much larger facility this year. It was still very crowded, but we could stand in the alley. The beer event organizers are not joking when they say " Unlike some other beers, Belgian beer is not just colourful water". There were 25 beers on tap and there is a book describing each of the beers including the alcohol content. The alcohol content is valuable information for the wise.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Reginald A Mines

My grandfather, on my mother's side, served in France during WW1. His brother also served and died in the war. (My aunt said he was shot by a sniper). The Commonwealth War Graves Commission lists information about all war graves. A few years back I found his entry on the web site.

This year I rented a car so I could drive from Brussels while de-jetlagging for FOSDEM. Beuvry is about a 2 hour drive from Brussels. Since my plane was late I made it to a larger town nearby called Bethune and stayed in a hotel near the center of town. I found a french looking restaurant on the "Grand Place" and had dinner and went to bed. The next morning I took a look around town and stopped by the tourist office for things to do. There were some interesting looking tunnels near Arras and a blockhouse used for V1 and V2 production.

I quickly found the cemetery and the grave.

Then I headed toward Arras. I stopped at the Canadian memorial at Vimy Ridge. I poked around the area where they had some restored trenches and a small museum. Parts of the area are closed off due to un-exploded ordinance. Even after all these years you can see the outlines of the trenches and craters left from the war.

Finally, I made it to Arras. Since it was not obvious where the tunnels were and it was late I found a sandwhich and headed back to Brussels.


Wednesday I left for Brussels to attend FOSDEM. My flight went via Frankfurt because USAir does not fly direct on Wednesday. My flight from Frankfurt to Brussels was delayed an hour due to fog. Then, while preparing the airplane, the rear emergency exit deployed. This led to the cancellation of my flight. Fortunately, they managed to get me on a 1PM flight. The Frankfurt airport is not my favorite place to spend six hours. The food selection is not great (at least on the airplane side of security). The airport is also a bit of a maze.

There is a tunnel between the A and B terminals. This is what it looks like around 7 AM after you have been up all night.

I've been through Frankfurt twice now, and taken a different route between the international arrival area and the outgoing flight each time.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Mid Life Crisis

Not much blogging since I need to work to pay for this.